“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
SIGNING DAY, 2013
(Click the Image to See Full Size Version)
Yeah, I'll post this now, even though I know everyone's reading the Live Blog before Coach Hoke's press conference begins. Good day, no surprises...
I also used to do a post on this day every year cautioning all of us to remember not to rain on any young man's dreams today, this is their moment to shine. etc. But as far as I can see there's no rain on the forecast. Great class, great day, Great To Be, etc.
Friday Fun will discuss this thing called basketball, and how exciting it was last night.
Some new formatting news for the New Year:
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Wednesday here at MGoBlog and on its official home page. Also, don't forget to check out the Friday Fun, my weekly single panel comic based on trending Michigan events, available on Twitter and the home page every Friday.
Jalen Rose was tonight's emcee, Betsey Armstrong, Jeff and Tiffany Porter and a CS Mott patient were the judges.
For everyone who attended hopefully you had a great time supporting a great cause, if you didn't make it here are a few performances of note.
And your winner
The rest of the skits can be found here
As promised, here is where the recruiting rankings stand with two days until Signing Day 2013. Michigan still has command of the board, and a few of the Big Ten's best programs still languish in the bottom half of the rankings. Link to last rankings (too many changes to list).
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^||POINTS*|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
*The product of number of Commits and Average Average
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
On to the full data after the jump.
I know I just wrote a diary yesterday.... I hope this one is appreciated!
Below is the remaining schedules for the top-6 BigTen teams:
|INDIANA||MICHIGAN||MICH ST||OHIO ST||WISCONSIN||MINNESOTA|
|Game 10||AT ILL 2-7||OSU 7-2||MINN 5-4||AT UM 7-2||IOWA 3-6||AT MSU 7-2|
|Game 11||AT OSU 7-2||AT WISC 6-3||AT PURD 4-5||IND 8-1||UM 7-2||ILL 2-7|
|Game 12||NEB 2-8||AT MSU 7-2||UM 7-2||NW 4-6||AT MINN 5-4||WISC 6-3|
|Game 13||PUR 4-5||PSU 0-9||AT NEB 2-8||AT WISC 6-3||OSU 7-2||AT IOWA 3-6|
|Game 14||AT MSU 7-2||ILL 2-7||IND 8-1||MINN 5-4||AT NW 4-6||AT OSU 7-2|
|Game 15||AT MINN 4-5||AT PSU 0-9||AT OSU 7-2||MSU 7-2||NEB 2-8||IND 8-1|
|Game 16||IOWA 3-6||MSU 7-2||AT UM 7-2||AT NW 4-6||PUR 4-5||PSU 0-9|
|Game 17||OSU 7-2||AT PUR 4-5||WISC 6-3||AT IND 8-1||AT MSU 7-2||AT NEB 2-8|
|Game 18||AT UM 7-2||IND 8-1||NW 4-6||ILL 2-7||AT PSU 0-9||AT PURD 4-5|
|v. 8-1 IND||N/A||HOME||HOME||ROAD + HOME||N/A||HOME|
|v. 7-2 UM||ROAD||N/A||ROAD + HOME||ROAD||HOME||N/A|
|v. 7-2 MSU||ROAD||ROAD + HOME||N/A||HOME||ROAD||ROAD|
|v. 7-2 OSU||ROAD + HOME||HOME||ROAD||N/A||HOME||ROAD|
|v. 6-3 WISC||N/A||ROAD||HOME||ROAD||N/A||HOME|
|v. 5-4 MINN||ROAD||N/A||HOME||HOME||ROAD||N/A|
|v. 4-5 PUR, 4-6 NW, 3-6 IOWA, 2-7 ILL||HOME- PUR DNP NW HOME IOWA ROAD ILL||AT PURD DNP NW DNP IOWA HOME ILL||AT PURD HOME NW DNP IOWA DNP ILL||DNP PURD ROAD + HOME NW DNP IOWA HOME ILL||HOME PURD AT NW HOME IOWA DNP ILL||AT PURD DNP NW AT IOWA HOME ILL|
|v. 2-8 NEB, 0-9 PSU||HOME NEB||DNP NEB ROAD + HOME PSU||AT NEB DNP PSU||DNP NEB DNP PSU||HOME NEB ROAD PSU||AT NEB HOME PSU|
The top six teams all have 9 games left in conference- I showed all of those games. Then I separated the BigTen into the top 6, the sub-500 teams who can surprise teams, and Nebraska and Penn State who should not surprise anyone no matter where the game is being played. Now I will analyze the home-away breakdown for each sub-group of teams before analyzing each team separately.
One game advantage will be critical since they have the hardest schedule left in my opinion. While MSU and OSU both play one more game against a top-6 team, Indiana plays 4 on the road, including closing out against Michigan. They do have 3 home games against the bottom half, but the game at Illinois could be a trap after a tough fought Michigan game. If they win the conference they will have really earned it, since almost half the remaining games are playing on the road at OSU, MSU, MINN, and UM.
Average schedule amongst the top six. Easier than Ohio State’s or Michigan State’s and Indiana’s most likely- which is very good for our chances of winning the conference. Only Minnesota and Wisconsin play less amongst the top-six, but they are two games and one game behind us respectively. Fortunately we have one more home game against the top-six than roadgames- a nice combo with also having less games against top teams. Plus we play PSU twice and Illinois at home. At Purdue is our sleeper game in my opinion.
At least 4 of the 6 games against the top-six are at home, other than that there is little to be too pleased about for the Spartans. Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin at home are all tough and Ohio State and Michigan on the road will be tough to get. Plus they play Purdue on the road also. They do not play Penn State in the last 9 games, and even the “easy game” of Nebraska is away… poor Sparty. A game behind Indiana and tied with Michigan and Ohio State it will be very hard for them to win the regular season conference crown.
Like Michigan State they have more than half their games (six) against the top-six teams. They play the top two teams (Michigan and Indiana) on the road as well as Wisconsin. Their home top-six are another against Indiana, and then Minnesota and Michigan State. They do not play either Nebraska or Penn State either for easy wins. As is the case with Michigan State there is a lot working against Ohio State. That could all change however if they beat Michigan next game. If they lose to Michigan they will be two back of Indiana (assuming Indiana wins at Illinois) and one game behind us and Michigan State (if they beat Minnesota at home). If they get the upset they can claw their way to a regular season championship, if not the odds get pretty long.
2 back of Indiana they have little hopes to start with. Jumping 4 teams will be a monumental task. Their style of play creates matchup issues but they lack the elite level of play of the teams above them in my opinion. In their favor are only 4 games against the top-six. Home against Michigan and Ohio State and away against Michigan State and Minnesota. No more against Indiana, home against two 7-2 teams, and road against a 7-2 and 5-4 team. They have the easiest schedule of the top-six teams- but not easy enough to be a serious threat to win the regular season in all likelihood.
Should they even be in the top group? Are they going to start off great every year and collapse in conference? They have a lot of work to do if they want to win- and as was the case with Wisconsin they have an easier schedule remaining than the top-four teams. At Michigan State and Ohio State and home against Wisconsin and Indiana. If they don’t win all four their hopes fade away… but at least they exist… for now.
Minnesota is too far gone to be a serious threat. Wisconsin, despite an easier path, needs to much to fall in place in order to win it. Michigan has an easier path than Michigan State or Ohio State, our fellow 7-2 conference mates, and Indiana plays 4 top teams on the road. Too be honest all four have pretty similar odds looking at the schedule- so it will come down to who wins the bigger games- particularly on the road. If Michigan takes care of business against Ohio State our chances rise. If Michigan State loses to Minnesota at home as well after the next conference game it may be Michigan and Indiana fighting for the title with MSU and OSU dropping to long shots. It also seems like there is a very good chance of a split again this year.
My current odds:
I think there is a 1/3 chance there is an outright champ and a 2/3 chance its split. It could be split with two, three, or four teams, so my odds for a split are funky- and maybe mathematically impossible but they are rough estimates anyway.
Michigan and Indiana are so close- the fact Indiana closes at Michigan (that will be such a classic game if things shape up as they seem to be) and that they play more road games against top opponents leaves me thinking Michigan has a slightly better chance of a title in any capacity- and equally as likely to win outright. MSU and OSU are half as likely given tougher schedules than Michigan and a game behind Indiana. They are also less likely to get a split in my opinion, but both have good odds. Wisconsin has almost no chance to win outright, only an easy schedule in comparison keeps some hope alive. They seem possibly in the hunt for a split title- kind of like ours last year with everything needing to fall in place. Minnesota is too far back now and can only hope the top teams beat up on each other enough so everyone gets dinged and they take care of a schedule that’s easier than the top 4 teams.
HISTORIC TRENDS: 25 YEARS OF WOLVERINE BASKETBALL
This week’s diary is mainly designed to graph out some of the trends in box score statistics (and a few derived from the box score) that we have seen over the last 25 seasons of Michigan basketball. What I hoped to achieve here was merely to provide a visual for the increases and decreases in these statistics over time, but also to look at the averages in this period to get some idea of how well the current team is performing compared to the last, well, several teams. It is important to note that all totals for the current team are to date – I didn’t want to do a projection of future totals simply because of the potential error that would be part of that projection.
TABLE 1 – COMPARISON OF CERTAIN AVERAGES
Rebounds / Game
Points Per Game
Off. Rebound %
Def. Rebound %
The charts below are admittedly exaggerated via some varied scaling in order to show clearly some of the cycles and trends in some of the statistics. I will apologize in advance for this, but it seemed like a good way to show this.
You can see with average assists per game several cycles of varied length, but another generally steady downward turn from the 90s through the last few seasons:
In average points per game, there was a very protracted trend of general decline (with noted spikes) that seemed to get reasonably flat at time wore on. Again, this year, the trend is reversing.
Looking at offensive and defensive efficiency, you will see that, most years, we hung out somewhere around 1.000 for offensive efficiency, but have had widely varied performance on defense. A similar tale can be told for offensive and defensive rebound %, but here, it is defensive rebounding % which is relatively stable in comparison to its counterpart. This is less obvious when looking at rebound totals for the season, of course.
On this chart, you’ll find field goal percentage, three-point percentage and free throw percentage trends so you can see the interplay between the three. Free throw shooting and field goals seemed to actually be relatively stable over time, with our three-point percentage being by far the most variable aspect of our shooting offense.
Here are the trends for turnovers, blocks, personal fouls and steals.
I am not sure there is a fixed conclusion here only because the current season is not yet finished, but no it is even clear in the numbers that, at least in a few important regards, Michigan basketball is coming back to levels of production and play that it has not seen in quite some time. We can see it on the court, but the statistics definitely do back up the so-called “eye test” comparisons we tend to make of this team.
I have a lot of time this weekend and started to reflect on the year so far. It turned into me writing about each of the main players production to this point, a quick Indiana game recap, and forecasts for the rest of the year and for next year. It is quite long so if you dont like longer posts you will hate this one... it is also my first contribution so be nice (hopefully it will be a good read for those who look through it!):
First Half: There’s a reason he is thought of as the best point guard in the nation and a serious contender for player of the year. The fact that such a young team has been top-5 all year has a lot to do with his tremendous leadership. He can take over games, and has an ability to raise his game when he is most needed. Has at times struggled with poor shot selection.
34.0 minutes, 18.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.9 TPG, .487 FGP, .778 FTP, .367 3PP
Indiana Game: 9/24 shooting, 4/12 from 3, 25 points, 8 assists, 3 to, and 4 PF. Not his strongest game despite good overall production. Some very poor shot selection (deep threes, long two step-backs, etc.) but also great leadership at time.
Second Half Thoughts: While fans will be excited about a championship run it will be also interesting to see if he will be player of the year. He seems to have wrapped up being the top PG, and very possibly will be a unanimous all-American. If we win the BigTen it will be largely because he stepped up in big games- and improved his shot selection in close games.
Next Year Thoughts: Hard to imagine him coming back… Stinks for him he gets compared to CP3 because the chances he produces at that level are likely pretty low- but for a player who came in under-the-radar and turned into potentially the best college player who knows…
First Half: With Burke playing all but 6 minutes per game Albrecht does not play a whole lot. A big surprise has been how well he seems to handle things when he gets into the game. Has hit some big shots, plays within the flow of the game very well.
7.1 minutes, 1.5 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.2 TPG, .370 FGP, 1.000 FTP, .353 3PP
Indiana Game: 4 minutes and no stats accumulated. It’s nice that when he steps in the game no one panics too much. A low recruit freshman stepping in for perhaps the player of the year- you would think whenever he steps in fans would hold their breath- the fact that that is not the case says quite a bit- even if his stats don’t seem to impressive.
Second Half Thoughts: I imagine the second half will go just as the first has. Let’s hope he can step in during some high pressure situations and play well to get some good experience for next year- but this is Burke’s team and he will play most of the time obviously.
Next Year Thoughts: Derrick Walton is a top-flight recruit. Let’s see if Walton will follow in the footsteps of Burke and Morris (it certainly seems like he has the ability to). My guess is that Albrecht will play more at the start of next year and gradually give up more and more time to Walton. I imagine that Walton will start at some point next year- but that Albrecht will start the first few games (probably more than Vogrich did this year) and then play 5-10 minutes per game depending on how well Walton matures as the year goes on.
Tim Hardaway JR:
First Half: Last year his game was inconsistent, this year he has been a steady producer. Last year he tried to force his way into games, this year he plays within the game much better. He has made some huge shots, and his shooting has been getting better all year. He can handle the ball well (although too many turnovers), and along with Burke makes up the best backcourt in the country.
34.0 minutes, 15.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 2.2 TPG, .483 FGP, .736 FTP, .410 3PP
Indiana Game: 8-16 shooting, 2-5 3’s, 1 Reb, 2 TO’s, 4 PF, 18 points. Played solid defense, hit some big shots, but did little else.
Second Half Thoughts: He is one of the top players in the country and can take over games. Plays solid defense but can also be silent for longer stretches. Would love to see him step up his game even more but if he plays like he has so far everyone should be happy.
Next Year Thoughts: Let’s hope he stays. With Irvin coming in and Stauskas we could absorb the loss- but it’d be great if he came back. He can still develop his game more and would benefit from another year- but he has all the talent to turn into a productive NBA player.
First Half: Glad he used the redshirt! He has been very fun to watch play and has shown signs of having the ability to become a very good player. Nothing too flashy, no very productive games, but consistently plays well when he is in.
11.6 minutes, 3.1 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.1 APG, 0.3 TPG, .391 FGP, .500 FTP, .409 3PP
Indiana Game: 10 min, 2-4 shooting, 0-1 from 3’s, 1 Reb, 1 ast, 2 PF, 4 points. He showed some promise while playing. Handled the ball more than he normally does and looked like he could handle the pressure. That’s pretty impressive considering he was not going to play at all this year.
Second Half Thoughts: Likely more of the same. Hopefully he can improve shot selection a little bit better and be more productive.
Next Year Thoughts: He looks like he can be a very solid player. You can see how many had him as the Ohio player of the year last year in high school. When he continues to fill out his frame he could develop into a very solid player. Some on the board seem to think he has a legit NBA shot- too early for that in my opinion, but you can see brilliance in his future if everything clicks.
First Half: Probably the most pleasant surprise this year. We knew he could shoot on youtube, but 50% from 3’s is crazy. Plus he has two memes- more than a shooter, and blouses… gotta love it.
30.9 minutes, 12.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.0 TPG, .486 FGP, .827 FTP, .483 3PP
Indiana Game: 10 points of 3-10 shooting with 1-5 from 3. 1 Reb (offensive), 2 assists and 2 fouls. Apparently he may not have been feeling well- and it makes sense watching the game. When he passed up an open three you could tell things were not perfect. Hard to remember he is a freshman at times- and it is hard to expect great play from a freshman in a serious road game.
Second Half Thoughts: If he continues with his production that would be fantastic. Become a real threat on the pick and roll and off the dribble- would love to see that progress- especially since next year he may handle the ball more without as strong a PG. While he is more than a shooter that is the heart of his game, and shooters go through stretches of greatness and cold spells- let’s hope those hot streaks correspond with big games.
Next Year Thoughts: He has a lot of swagger and the ability to back it up. I can see him becoming a leader on this team, and becoming even more productive. He looks like a future NBA guy, but we should enjoy plenty of 3’s and game blouses moments next year!
Glen Robinson III:
First Half: We at MGoBlog expected big things from the freshman and he has delivered. One of the most productive players, and a very smart and talented player. His athleticism and dunking ability have also led to some of the most pleasant moments of the year.
32.9 minutes, 11.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.0 TPG, .586 FGP, .677 FTP, .405 3PP
Indiana Game: Only player to go all 40 (in part because he had only 1 foul), but his weakest game. 2 points on 1-6 shooting, 4 rebounds (2 offensive) and 1 assist and 1 turnover.
Second Half Thoughts: Despite the rough Indiana game big things are ahead for GR3. He has been tremendously consistent and productive. I expect big things from him the rest of the way- and if he can improve he has the ability to take this team to an even higher level.
Next Year Thoughts: Let’s hope he doesn’t make the jump. He has an NBA body and athleticism and skill-set- but he has a lot of growing to go. Let’s hope that maturation happens in a Michigan uniform. If he stays next year’s team will also be very special- if he jumps it will be much tougher to have as great a year.
First Half: Not a whole lot of minutes, and has only played in half the games. Shows signs of having a lot of potential but not too close for that talent turning into production any time soon.
Indiana Game: DNP
Second Half Thoughts: Less time as games become more important.
Next Year Thoughts: Next year he should still see limited action, but at times has shown signs he could work his way into the rotation as an upperclassmen if he develops the way he appears to be able to.
First Half: Not flashy but a big part of this team. Plays half the minutes as finally Michigan has plenty of big-men to play. Great defense, great rebounder, solid and productive offensive player.
19 minutes, 6.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.1 TPG, .626 FGP, .583 FTP
Indiana Game: L… 2 minutes without any stats battling an injury.
Second Half Thoughts: Let’s hope he heals- because we are a stronger team with him playing. Has also shown great leadership- and leadership on the court means a lot in the college game. May not be the flashiest or highest scorer- but he makes a huge impact and if stays healthy expect more of the same.
Next Year Thoughts: Center position will all be back- and should all see their play step up- I like having solid big men!
First Half: You can see why he was so highly ranked- and you can also see why he dropped in the rankings. Tons of talent, even more hustle! He does so many little things right- outlet passing, boxing out, solid defense, and intangibles galore!
16.6 minutes, 5.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.8 APG, 0.7 BPG, 1.0 TPG, .592 FGP, .579 FTP
Indiana Game: 28 minutes, 5-7 shooting for 10 points with 7 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 assits, 2 steals, 1 block, but 4 fouls. Very high intensity game with good production.
Second Half Thoughts: More of the same- lots of rebounds, decent points, lots of hustle.
Next Year Thoughts: NBA player for sure- but should definitely be back at least for a year. He can definitely develop into an all-BigTen bigman- with more minutes that could even be next year. Such a great rebounder and hustler- if he can continue the high level of production with increased minutes expect very big things.
First Half: Fewest minutes of the bigs that play regular minutes. Less offensive production, but just as solid defensive production.
9.6 minutes, 2.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.7 BPG, 0.5 TPG, .571 FGP, .600 FTP
Indiana Game: Started and got 10 minutes with 2-3 shooting for 4 points. 1 offensive and 2 defensive boards to go along with 2: blocks, turnovers, and fouls.
Second Half Thoughts: If Morgan battles with injuries he will have to step up. He has struggles with his own injuries in the past- but has shown great signs of progress!
Next Year Thoughts: He will still be behind McGary and Morgan for minutes- but he has some definite potential and can play his way into bigger minutes.
There’s a reason we have been a top-five team all year- we are very good! There have been a lot of good surprises this year, and a lot of production. Burke is a definite player-of-the-year guy, and with THJR makes up the nation’s best guard combo. Indiana game was tough- but this was a young team playing on the road- and we played tough. There are plenty of reasons to expect big things this year- and for the most par I expect players to continue their production levels the rest of the way- which is a good thing considering how solid production has been.
McLimans and Vogrich are the only players who will graduate- so there are a lot of reasons to expect big things for next year. Burke seems very likely to leave, and Hardaway and Robinson are the most likely to join him- but hopefully both will be back. Irvin and Walton should be good contributors as freshman and Donnal will likely add good depth. If Hardaway and Robinson leave we should have a big drop but still be pretty decent- if at least one stays we should still have an excellent year next year- and if both stay and only Burke leaves we can be a top-10 team potentially- especially if Walton continues the trend of excellent PG recruiting.